Please help me welcome CJ to the blog today. She is so funny to talk with, a great sense of humor who know’s who she is and wants to be. She has a surprise giveaway at the end of the interview so do not miss out.
Also after the interview there are some excerpts .
Babs: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
C.J.: Nope! I “found” this new career at the age of 38. Pretty damn cool when I think about it. I count myself lucky to have discovered my true calling so late in life. Prior to that I was a business whiz in banking and real estate. Boring, but it easily paid the bills.
Babs: What would you like your readers to get out of the V V Inn series?
C.J.: That the romance and adventure doesn’t end when the characters get married! I was tired of reading heroines with messed up love-lives and weak, wishy-washy guys. Or worse, alpha-males who beat on their chest and subdue their woman with control and arrogance. “You must do as I say, although I won’t tell you why.” The repeated trust issues done over and over again in books seem like plot devices after a while because they are.
I don’t know about the average reader, but I certainly didn’t date overbearing men in real life, and I don’t like reading about them anymore.
Aren’t real men who act normal more likely to fall into a woman’s life? I’d like to read about real people, so I created some. Granted, I made most of them paranormal just because the fantasy is so damn fun I couldn’t resist!
Babs: Do you have a current project in the works?
C.J.: LOL! Several right now. There’s no moss on me 😉
1) I’m working on BIG GAME, book three in the V V Inn series.
2) I’m re-releasing the entire series this summer de-sexified for the high-YA audience of 18-22. They think they like sex in their books until they read my stuff, then they realize they haven’t really read sexy vamps yet! The books will include a lot of original graphic art from two talented artists, who will also do the new covers.
3) I promised my kids a middle-grade contemporary fantasy book, which is in the works right now. It’s called Black is for Lies and follows two children who meet at a campground. They solve a small mystery and become fast friends. It has some paranormal/fantasy aspects as well, simply because that’s what my kids wanted.
4) I’ve recently contacted an artist about a children’s series I’d like to do, based on the fluffy black cat in our house named Sasuke.
Babs: Do you have a ritual when you are writing? ie coffee, music, food etc
C.J.: Not really, although starting one might help the current slump I’m in! I’ve found that a messy house cluttered with piles of laundry is a huge deterrent for me. I’m not a clean freak, but I do need the house to reflect a milder form of chaos if I plan to get anything done… if not the huge tasks seem to loom over me and squash the creativity right out of me.
Babs: Hobbies outside of writing?
I like to garden, cook, read, go hiking when my rheumatoid arthritis allows me, walk my dogs, and play games with my kids. I’ve been battling some illnesses for years and find that the care I have to do daily to try and regain my health is more time consuming than I bargained for. If you have good health, don’t take it for granted. It’s unreal how much your life changes when your health takes a downward slide for any length of time.
Babs: What book or books are you currently reading?
C.J.: I’m involved in several book clubs, plus I read for work and my own interests. The book club title for my local friends this session is Suburgatory, by Linda E. Keenan. It’s funny, but I can only read it in short bursts. The writing is very clever and can sometimes be too much to absorb in one sitting.
I just started Portia De Costa’s BDSM, and Zombies, and Ménage.. Oh my! last night. It’s a collection of shorts and novelettes and I like it – hot, funny, and a little over the top. I also read the short story from Danielle Ravencroft, A Trace of Love, at the gym yesterday. It was sweet and steamy in all the right places. Quick read and I hope to see more from this author.
I just finished editing Danielle Gavan’s holiday novelette, The Lists, which is a really fun take on Santa’s elves. Great for some light holiday reading with hot nookie.
Yikes, I just realized all of the last books I listed are erotic. I swear, I do read other stuff. I just finished Pale Demon, by Kim Harrison, over the holiday weekend and loved it! She’s going in a new direction with her main character and I think she did an excellent job with it.
Babs: If you could be one character from one of your books who would it be?
C.J.: Ahh… readers who follow me on facebook could probably answer this one for you! I started writing to escape my health problems and the depression they were leading to. I never expected anyone would like what I wrote, so I crafted the heroine into a character I dreamed of being: An all-powerful, sexy vampire who never gets sick.
Think of all you could do and learn without the frailty of the human body to hold you back. Granted, sucking blood and avoiding the sun doesn’t sound too appealing, but I do the second one already to avoid wrinkles 😉
Babs: Favorite drink?
C.J.: Magner’s. It’s a hard cider from Ireland. Elixir of the Gods. I swear.
Babs: What is your favorite ice cream?
C.J.: Rocky Road – chocolate chunks, nuts, marshmallow, and chocolate ice cream… yum…
Babs: What is your favorite food?
C.J.: Oh damn, pick one? I love my food, as my ass and cellulite can attest.
Hmm… I’d say chocolate, but that’s more of a dessert, right? I have mashed potatoes like twice a week and still am never tired of them… but that’s a side dish.
If you’d asked me before I was diagnosed with Celiac’s I would have yelled “pizza” at the top of my lungs… so runner up would probably be filet mignon cooked medium rare… or chicken parm (gluten free) served over yummy gluten free pasta with a meat sauce… *drool*
Babs: Anything else you would like to add? (links to any blogs/sites to follow etc)
C.J.: Thanks for having me here today, Babs! The interview was fun and I hope to get a chance to chat with some of your readers today.
I like to run free ebook contests everywhere I visit, so for every ten commenters we’ll add another free ebook to the offering. Meaning ten commenters equals two free ebooks given away (one initially and one extra for hitting ten). Twenty commenters means three free ebooks… and so on.
Ok readers you better get to commenting :)..Babs
I’m pretty active on Facebook, so please stop by and say “howdy” when you’re next on: http://www.facebook.com/c.j.ellissonfanpage
I also write with some terrific erotica authors at the Everything Erotic blog: http://everythingerotic.blogspot.com We’ve got five anthologies out so far with another releasing every three months.
Every month I post original fiction on my website home page: http://www.cjellisson.com and link to my news page where a virtual book tour is posted.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and being a guest on the blog.
Now for some goodies:
Excerpt from The Hunt:
As I lie here, curled around my husband’s firm body, I begin to wonder: Am I crazy? What in the hell made me think organizing a hunt, here at our hotel, would be a good idea? Over a dozen supernatural predators are flying in from all over the world; ones who’ve paid an exorbitant price for the privilege of removing their everyday masks and killing one of their own kind. I must be crazy. I have a feeling this week is going to turn out to be more than any of us bargained for. Self-doubt plagues me as I rise from the warmth of the bed and stroll, naked, to
my closet. The glow of the artificial landscape lighting beams in through the windows. The changing gradient indicates it’s probably midday here above the Arctic Circle. Part of my nervous edge could be associated with learning to trust the new members of our seethe. While the vampires appear upfront and honest—as much as a pack of bloodsuckers can be—my old habits of distrust have served me well over the years. The two months since November’s tracking and killing of Ivan have been a trial for me, this upcoming hunt week has been a long time in the planning, but I don’t have to like it. Having anyone from the Tribunal of Ancients on our property sucks, especially when I have no idea who they’re sending. Grabbing the clothes I set out in the wee hours of the morning, I head to the shower in our private suite. The hot water cascading over me fills my mind with horrible memories of my own first hunt. My seethe wore cloth-lined, silver skullcaps to thwart my unique vamp-to-vamp mind-control abilities. They orchestrated the hunt to rid themselves of their “pet” manipulator. What started for the group as demented undead fun, ended with a young, redheaded vampire surprising them all with her ability to kill ruthlessly and without remorse. The blood of my seethe-mates once covered my body, as the water does now. Later, I stacked their headless corpses in our old farmhouse before setting the structure on fire. Killing that sick group was the least I could do to avenge the murders of my first and second husbands. Considering all I’d been through under their rule for twenty-six years, I let the bastards off easy. Thankfully, even a semi-mortal vampire can only die once—if it’s done right. The sound of Rafe stirring in the next room pulls me out of my dark thoughts and tells me he’s getting up as well. “Good morning, sleepyhead,” I call out over the noise of the water. “Get enough rest?” “You mean after you ravaged me for hours? Oh yeah, I slept pretty damn sound.”
Blurb for book one, Vampire Vacation:
Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true. Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests. Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect? Warning: This book contains some explicit sex scenes, intended for mature readers only.
Amazon Print, Amazon Kindle, Smashwords
Excerpt from Vampire Vacation:
I open the door to find a body at my feet. The rich smell of blood causes my canines to lengthen. Reaching out in the darkness, I flip on the switches. Light comes on across the room, illuminating the dead guy lying face down in front of me. The whole scene makes me wish I’d stayed in bed today, curled up next to my warm husband. “Crap, look at the rug.”
Okay, out loud that sounds rather dispassionate. Whoever this poor stiff is, he’s dead. I’m the one left with a huge mess on my hands and guests arriving within the hour. Good thing I caught this before one of the maids did. Their screams from the last time were a devil to calm down. Reaching out with my mind, I connect with my husband in a soft electrical tingle of sensation. Rafe? There’s a dead guy in suite six. We’ve got to move fast before the next group arrives. Rafe’s rugged face appears in my head. My extended consciousness lets me see the room around him as well as hear his thoughts. He’s leaning against the sink in our private kitchen, wearing a robe, a steaming mug of coffee in his hand. Does it look like an accidental overfeeding? His mental voice sounds incredulous. We haven’t had one of those in years. No, there’s way too much blood. Can you come up here and help me? Sure, Dria. I’m fresh out of the shower—give me a couple minutes. I step over the body and into the room, closing the door behind me with a soft snick of the catch. I’d rather not have the guests get a whiff of this mess. Some of them would probably think we did it on purpose for “ambience”. But others might not. Walking over to the bench at the end of the bed, I sit then look around the suite. A king-size bed, neatly made, gleaming dark furniture and lush brocade fabrics greet me. Nothing but the corpse looks out of place. The stark white face turned toward me doesn’t look familiar. I’m sure he isn’t a mate of one of the vampire masters staying here; I make it a point to meet all of them when they arrive. Examining his brown hair and twenty-something face, I don’t recognize him as a vampire servant either. Not many have come to stay with the current crop of undead we’ve got right now. Who else? The blood arouses my basic vampire needs while confusing my train of thought. I concentrate, trying to clear my head. Think, dammit, think!
Could he be a companion? A lot of masters bring “food” with them. Being a full-service hotel we can provide all the needs of our guests, but some still insist on BYOB. His oxford shirt and ragged jeans rule him out as an employee. Unless he’s an off-duty new hire I’m unaware of. Rafe, have we hired anyone new? Not in at least a month. You’ve met everyone. My husband hesitates for a moment. Send me his face and I’ll let you know if he looks familiar. I concentrate to project the image from my mind to Rafe’s. My strong ability enables me to share the entire experience with him if I wish. I could send the metallic smell filling the air, the sticky congealing blood pooled about the victim’s head, or the dark essence of death that lingers after a vicious kill, but choose to limit it only to the image. No, I don’t recognize him either, Rafe confirms. Damn, Tommy’s flagging me down. Give me a minute and I’ll be right up. Hurry, please. We’ve got guests coming in, I glance down at my ever-present watch, forty-five minutes!
C.J. Ellisson writes erotica and urban fantasy. Her vampire series, The V V Inn, mixes a heavy dose of erotic elements with suspense, action, a little bit of mystery and some light humor. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a fluffy black cat who makes her sneeze.
To learn more about C.J.’s books (where you can read half of the novels for free), please visit her website at www.cjellisson.com